Birthdays are fun. You go out and get something for the special person. Maybe it's a gift card or maybe it's something from Target or Best Buy.
Or maybe a 12 pack of beer.
Regardless, you get something for that person.
But what if the birthday in question is not about a person but an event. A sporting event. More specifically a soccer match at Dick's Sporting Goods Park. That's right, the snow classico turned three on Tuesday.
It is hard to imagine that it has been three years since that game (hell, I had only been writing for the Wave at that point for a couple of weeks). And yet here we are. Obviously, I do not have any great gift to give for this other then telling my story about it. I know that many of us were at that game and I am sure there are thousands of stories like this, so if you wouldn't mind, I'd like to reminisce a bit about this.
What I remember most: the wind.
You see, the storm was not supposed to come in until later that night and we got to the park super early so we could tailgate. There were eight of us (including my 75 year old father) and we had grand plans of grilling, drinking and in general enjoying a World Cup qualifier in Colorado. But a funny thing happened: the weather changed and it was clear the storm was coming in early.
When we got to the park the first order of business was trying to get the grill lit, but there was zero chance of that happening. The wind was brutal. As you know the wind is always crappy at the Colorado Rapids home park. It is situated far enough from the mountains that it blows and blows and blows out there. And it was a howling that night. So as we could not get the grill going all we had left was a crock-pot full of vegetarian chili (it was a Friday in Lent after all) and a lot of beer.
So we ate chili and drank beer
But even with the snow, no way could we have predicted....
In my wildest dreams I thought it would be a couple of flakes and that's it. Hell, I had been at games at Dick's where it had snowed, but it was never anything great. It's been cold and miserable at DSGP, but it was never that big of a deal. Well Mother Nature gave the middle finger to that idea on that night and it came down. Hard. The snow was insane. Absolutely insane. And it just kept piling up. And you know what?
IT WAS FREAKING AWESOME
We stood. The entire match. We sang. The entire match. We bounced up and down. The entire match.
After it was over, and the United States had won, my Dad and I piled in my Subaru. Soaked to the core. Freezing and tired. But somehow elated. We knew that we had witnessed something that most soccer fans will never get to witness.
The beautiful game played in snow.
I have been to a number of big sporting events in my life. But nothing will compare to this. Nothing at all. It is so indescribable (if you were there you know what I mean) and to this day when I tell out of town friends and family that I was there, they want to hear about it. Even if they don't like soccer. It was a match that transcended sport. Everyone knows about it. It was that big.
At the end of the day though, I was most excited that I got to spend it with 7 fella's who are friends and family to me and I still see them to this day. It was the ultimate definition of what the #FootyFamily is:
Getting together with friends, family and loved ones and enjoying soccer. It doesn't get much better than that.